by Cheri Chesley
We've all had the experience of sitting in a movie theater eagerly awaiting the start of a movie based on a beloved novel--only to be disappointed in the end. At some point, we've forgotten the phrase "based on" that they attach to every movie-from-a-book project.
What I find interesting is the regularity in which movies are made from books these days. A lot of people I talk to about my book ask whether there will be a movie. I've even had someone volunteer to be one of the characters. :)
But I'd like to explore the other side of the coin. We're such a visual society, and yet I've almost never heard a person say they enjoyed the movie more than the book. I find this super-awesome, because to me it means people are happier creating the fantasy of a story in their minds rather than being content having movie makers translate it for them on the big screen.
I have to say there have been several movies made from books that I've enjoyed a lot, but only if I take the "from the book" aspect out of the equation. As long as I can keep the two separate, then I can enjoy each. My husband has a harder time if he reads the book first, so he's happier if he can see the movie first (complicated, in most cases, since by definition the book has to come first--but it has worked).
When you think about it, this puts a larger emphasis on books than ever before. Movie makers are looking to recently published works--and public response to them--for their next idea. It's nice to think authors can still make a difference, though, have you ever wondered what's wrong with Hollywood that they can't come up with their OWN ideas? :)